tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg September 10, 2016 9:00am-10:01am EDT
>> since the start of the century, the fortunes of russia have ebbed and flowed. there has been one constant, vladimir putin. taking power at the end of 1999, first as president, then as prime minister, and then as president again. he has made russia in his own image. risingc rebound and living standards. raised his reputation
internationally after a decade of post-soviet amelioration. at the same time, relations with the west came under strain. the intervention in ukraine saw it hits with sanctions. what hurts mr. bruno abroad helped him -- vladimir putin abroad helped him at home. in a country where power and hisngth are prized, approval rating is at 80%, and approval rating few western leaders could even dream up. it is an election year at the parliamentary level. the country's economy has still not recovered. the russians are heading to the polls this year for parliament and the presidency looming and
2018. i sat down with president putin for an exclusive conversation. thank you very much for talking to bloomberg. you have studied and watch the west many times. you have been to the g-20 more than any other leader at the moment. at you ever been to a g-20 where the west has been more divided and in doubt? you look at all the things happening in europe, migration, election, does's the west seem particularly divided at this moment? what do you explain that by? [speakingputin: russian] the west has many problems. population, declining
growth rates and productivity rates, these are all just things. on the whole, these demographics are very difficult. you are one of the best experts in this subject, the expansion policy, the economy to enjoy the results, allowing admission into the single currency, these are lead economic indicators. supportry difficult to growth rates with the economy itself under such conditions. in europe, we are not the only ones to go through this. theyw in argentina took their national currency to the door, and did not know what to do. that is what entering the
eurozone was life. ro to do you expect the eu survive? president putin: i hope so because we believe in the fundamental basis of the european economy. we see that western european maintained this agreement. i cannot say right or wrong. approaches --atic pragmatic approaches to solving economic problems. they primarily strive for structural changes. acutere in fact no less in their economy, and perhaps more so. there are no problems we cannot overcome. -- revenue.
are yet --as -- you you'll also has -- europe also economies with a pragmatic approach to resolving the problems facing europe. that is why we hold about 40% of euros.erves in do you expect it to survive and keep the existing membership? they will not lose another country like they lost britain? president putin: i don't want to response to your provocative question. john: many times you have
criticized europe. i have beentin: critical, but i again recede. we hold 40% of our reserves in euro, and it is not in our interests for the eurozone to collapse. development and thereby strengthen the euro. there might be some other decisions in order to preserve the existing number of members in the eurozone. that is not our goal. ourlways monitor and wish european partners success. i criticize their foreign-policy, but that is not me we should agree on everything.
we have to decide many things and believe that our partners have made more than a few mistakes. nobody is safe from these mistakes, but with regards to the economy, i will say it again. in my opinion, the european commission and the economies of europe are acting pragmatically and are on the right track. john: let me ask you about the oil price. two years ago, you said if crude oil fell below $80 a barrel, there would be a collapse in oil production. the prices still below $50, and production has not stopped. as your thinking changed? changed?ur thinking mistaken.putin: i was true, when i said that --
probably just off the top of my head. remembert i just don't . i said that new deposits would not be commission at a certain oil price. strictly speaking, that is what happened. surprisingly, our oil and gas companies, mainly the oil companies are continuing to invest. they have invested 1.5 trillion rubles. if you take the states investment, then the overall investment is 3.5 trillion rubles in the last year. this is significant. john: you are going to talk to the saudi deputy prime prints at
the g-20. would you be in favor of a production freeze? president putin: we really have a good relationship. this is a man who knows what he wants and knows how to achieve his goals. at the same time, i think he is a reliable partner. still, it was not us who rejected the idea of freezing out with levels. -- output levels. it was our saudi partners. i want to repeat, our position has not changed. when we speak about this, i will put forward our position again. we believe this is the right decision for world energy.
the second thing is that everyone knows what the dispute was all about. that if hiswas reduction was frozen, then everyone should do it, including iran. iran is starting from a low level relative to the well-known sanctions against this country. it would be unfair to leave it at the sanctions level. it would be correct to find some sort of compromise. i'm not sure if everyone understands that. the issue is not economic but political. i like to hope that every market participant who is interested in maintaining stable and fair global energy prices will make the necessary decisions. john: you would be in favor of a production freeze, but getting iran a little leeway to do what
they need to do? president putin: yes. john: can i ask you about privatization and oil again? reported, -- has come forward and said he would like to buy half of it for $5 billion. you have always said you don't want the big state companies buying the newly privatized ones. you would not allow it, would you? spoke justutin: you now of state run companies. speaking a strictly state company. 19.7% of forget that the gdp, which by the way is a british company. you are a british subject. john: you may have more control
over it then theresa may has over. president putin: maybe we have more control, but strictly speaking, it is not a state company. this is a fact. 19.7% belongs to a foreign nonetheless, the controlling stake belongs to the state is probably not the best option when one country owns control of a company with another state black. should be organized as part of a privatization process. in this sense, we cannot discriminate against market participants. the government has decided to delay the privatization.
john: on the question of privatization, you said back in 2012 that you wanted to expand privatization. you had a difficult time of it. why has that not worked? is there a case -- why does the government need to own 50% of these companies? maybe you could sell more. president putin: the russian government has no need -- and we certainly intend to carry out our plans. the question is not whether we want to or not. it is whether it makes sense or not and at what moment in time. on the whole, this makes sense from one point of view from the structural changes in the economy.
in the market, it is not from the point of view from the central interests, it does not always make sense. we are taking it carefully. from the standpoint of privatization and the state will move forward with certain assets , that is unchanged and will remain unchanged. with trying toy privatize this. this is the best confirmation that we have not changed our fundamental plans. john: you would do it this year? you would sell those shares this year? president putin: i don't know if the government can prepare and the appropriate strategic investors. i think we should be talking about precisely such an
investment. preparing and planning to do this year over year. john: pushing you on that 50%, would you be happy and a world where the russian state has less than 50% in these companies? president putin: i do not see anything horrible in this. once -- i that we had will not name it now, but 50% of it went to foreign shareholders, the contribution to the budget increased several times immediately and the efficiency did not reduce at all. from the viewpoint of the states interest.it is in the from the fiscal interest, -- when i look at your record
over all these years in foreign policy, you have been aggressive and decisive, very bold. everyone would agree on that. on economic policy, you seem more timid. president putin: i do not agree with this. i do not agree. been in line with the circumstances. john: on the economy, you have been slightly more -- less decisive in pushing reforms through. if you look at china and vietnam, they have changed their economies lately. russia is still dependent on oil and a few companies. it is still run largely by the same people. do you think that has been availing throughout those years that you have not performed enough? enough?med president putin: i do not think so.
we had land reform. it is hard to imagine in russia that this would be possible. listen. unlike many countries in the world, we had a very developed -- our oil sector is almost fully privatized. companies,ntioned to and look at what is happening in saudi arabia and mexico and many other oil producing countries. why you think russia has made progress with these reforms? another thing with high oil prices, it is very hard to redirect economic participants from those industries where they can make profit and encourage them to make money in other areas. for this, you need to implement -- pursue a set of measures.
unfortunately, it may not be as significant as we would like it to be. let me finish. while in gas revenue accounted for 53% of budget revenue. this is the year before last. 2014. in 2015, it was 43%. this year it will be about 36%. structural changes are taking place. it is not only about the price. it is also distribution, the extension of certain industries. john: i know you are a generous man. if you had a general who lost 80% of his army, you would not keep him as a general. you would not think of taking away the export monopoly given that performance. it is worse.
i think the roots of their distrust is the idea that they think you want to expand russia's zone of influence, at the very least the control of the countries on your order. -- border. you have talked about the trust. would you be able to say something that would get them reassurance on that account? thatdent putin: i think people who are involved in -- fors understand that example, the baltic sea is complete rubbish. how many people live in nato, about 600 million? how many people live in russia? about 146 million. the main point is that
politicians with great little experience, you cannot do our partnersnd need to understand this. what they remember about crimea, they try not to notice that the people living in crimea are 70% ethnic russians and speak russian like their native tongue. they want to join russia. they try not to see this. in kosovo, you can use the will of the people. but not here. this is a political game. i can see russia pursue an absolutely peaceful foreign policy. as far as expanding our zone of influence is concerned, it took me nine hours to fly here from moscow. this is a little less than from moscow to all of western europe and the atlantic ocean.
the question is not at all about territory. in a sense of influence, we would like our influence to the more noticeable and are significant. peaceful attempt into this. economic, humanitarian, and this is what i offer. no one should doubt this. crimea, whattioned happened there. in terms of the reassurances you might get, 2014, three times our reporter asked you what is happening inside crimea. did you know anything about the russian troops which were taken over the government, and you said no. a year later we talked about
directing the operation to bring crimea home yourself. do you think at times you could have set things in a much clearer way? president putin: i have already commented on these things on many occasions. i have already spoken about this. then you would have been confronted about your war strategy and putting people -- nationalists surrounded defenseless, unarmed people. this was widespread in death could have been widespread in -- could have been widespread in crimea, and we do not allow this to happen. it is so obvious that you cannot argue. come to crimea at yourself and take a walk. everything will be clear.
that is the end of the matter. our troops were in crimea. ofdid not reveal the number our troops in accordance with the agreement with the ukraine. thatost important thing is the crimean parliament voted for , which had been elected three years previously under ukrainian law. this is a legitimate body representing the people of crimea. we were in accordance with international law, the united nations charter, and on the basis of democratic principles. this is nothing more than the people expressing their will. know, there is an american election underway. there is a choice between hillary clinton and donald trump. who would you rather have it the other end of the telephone? president putin: i would like to
work with a person who can make responsible decisions and honor any agreements we reach. their last name does not matter. it is necessary for that person to enjoy the trust of the so that they are backed by the political will to fulfill those agreements. therefore, we are not intervening and have never intervened in the process. we will wait for the election results. then we will be ready to work with the administration. just push you on that, in 2011, you accused hillary clinton of seeking to trigger the process you are facing at the time. looking at some of the things donald trump has said about you in 2007, he said you are doing a
great job. he praises your no-nonsense way. he said you were his new best friend. he said you were outsmarting the americans. are you really tell me that if you had a choice between a woman who you think may have been trying to get rid of you and a man who seems to have this great affection for you boring almost , you will nottic make a decision between those two because one would seem to be more favorable to you? president putin: you know, essentially i already answered your question. i will reformat in different words. we are ready to work with any president. if someone says they want to work with russia, then we will work with them. if someone wants to get rid of
us, that will be a completely different approach. we will survive it. is.know what it seen on theirdly -- unfair and shortsighted approach. also to the signals from both sides that i think are just fine. it seems to me that it is not fully meet the level that relies on the shoulders of the u.s. it should all be more dignified and calm. in regards to someone resizing us, criticism is level by mr. trump as well.
one of the members of his team said that russia allegedly paid money to the family of the clinton foundation. is that mean -- does that mean we control the clinton foundation? will anyone is shown. say donaldpeople trump is too volatile to be an american president. you'd be happy with him in american president. you know wetin: cannot answer for the american people. tactics,, with all the
they use them in their own way. they are very smart people. they understand which buttons to push. trump is focusing on the traditional report electorate, people with average income, the working class. people that support traditional values. mrs. clinton is focusing on a different part of the electorate and trying to influence them in their own way. that is why they attack each other. in some cases, i want to follow their lead. but that is the u.s. political culture. accept that itt
is. america is a powerful country and it has earned a right. we will work with any administration with any president who will win the support of the american people. if of course they are ready to cooperate with russia. john: the other accusation you face as people connected with the people who backed into the democratic party's database. that you would say is completely untrue. president putin: [laughter] i don't know anything about that. you know how many hackers there are today and they are so delicate and precise that they don't leave their mark. it is extremely difficult to verify.
definitely, we denounce this on a state level. it is important who hacked this data. thing -- there should be a discussion. but i want to tell you again i don't know anything about this and on the state level, russia has never done this. specifically, the campaign headquarters or in the interest of one of the candidates rather than all of the democratic party
campaign. it would simply not even a curtain me that this would be interesting to anyone. we couldn't have been officially mixed up in this. i'm not sure even our foreign ministry experts know. you didn't protest that much when turkish tanks rolled across the border the other day. think turkey has now moved closer to your idea that the future of syria has to staying in some way or have you changed your mind about the president? has something changed in turkey
in terms of what you can see? we are starting from the fact turkey apologized for the incident that took place. they did it without any reservation and we value that. a clear interest on the part of the turkish president to restore complete relations with russia. we have many common interests on the global area. projects, and i have seen that in the final accounts. there will be the possibility of the european partners if they wanted.
we have to build a nuclear power station on both terms. we will finance, owned, operated. it's a singularity gives us reasons to believe the process will be implemented. this will be an economically advantageous thing for both sides. else,ition to everything we have a mutual desire to come to an agreement about the region's problems. i once fought and continue to believe nothing can be decided from our side about the political regime more change of power. we are not here from the outside
, not from inside the country but from outside. confidence from democratizing iraq. we see that with the collapse of the islamic state in growth of terrorism. i very much count on it. january inappen in iraq and in the future. it is the same with syria. when we hear a soft should leave sad should leave, i have questions. will it facilitate changes to the structure of society itself,
allowing changes to the structure of society. of course it won't happen today or tomorrow. gradually working towards structural change. we are in cargo of our turkish counterparts. anything the violates international law is unacceptable. john: in syria, are we any closer to having a whatan-american deal about should happen there. you have had talks recently and seems you have got a little closer but is there any progress on that? president putin: the talks are very difficult. one of the key problems is that the opposition should
be distinguished from the radical group. they already call themselves differently but the facts have not changed at all. besides, this is not an element of concern. these are outside fighters. they don't know what to do about it. nevertheless, despite the difficulties, i have mentioned secretary of state kerry.
in my opinion, we have gradually headed in the right direction and i don't rule out we will be able to do something in the near future. it's too early to talk about we are workingk in the necessary direction. coming up next, what is in russia's future. you shouldn'tn: try to remain in your position at any cost. john: this is bloomberg. ♪
president putin: have you yet decided if you will run in the presidential election of 2017? we need to hold these elections to see the results. they will be another in almost two years. it's far too early to speak about this. we need to raise the quality of people's lives, developed the economy, and increase the country's capabilities.
solution to the these, then we can see how to organize the presidential election campaign in 2018 and who should take part. i haven't yet made the decision for myself. john: do you think russia is getting easier to run or harder? president putin: it depends on the time. john: in your time. i think it'sin: more complicated because despite all the criticism of our western partners, we are developing domestic democracy. elections are significantly more important than in previous years.
there is a practical dimension. we now see the rating of our poll leading -- leading political force, many people are asking what has happened. it's part of a proactive election campaign. what do they have to offer? they all criticize the authority. they meanwhile don't say how to make things better. then they look great on the television, they criticize representatives of the ruling party. but they don't say they're ready forake responsibility
ultimately necessary decisions. president putin: are you envious of the chinese who don't have to go through these elections? president putin: there is a different political system in china and it's a different country. i don't think you would like to see 1.5 billion people with a disorder in the government. russia is a different country. we have different processes, in thent developments political system. it's not about the level per se, it's about the quality of the political system but it's growing. happy and imakes me would like for the system to become stronger so we have a balance in our political system that would allow us to be an effective state.
you reorganize part of your government, promoted. do you think that might be the sort of area where the next leader of russia will come? from this younger generation of people beginning to emerge? president putin: of course i think the future leader has to be a young person. man. a young as for theutin: members of the special forces and military, there is nothing new here. this is not the first time we have members of the defense forstry and the federal security service being promoted to a regional administration. the federal guard service shouldn't be an exception. why are they any worse? the most important thing the
word person wants to grow is capable of growing -- the right person wants to grow, is capable of growing. i i can see the person has potential, why not let him work. and represent the regional government to participate in the elections and allow the people of the region to judge their proposals, get to know their programs, then personally. -- them personally. there must be a relationship between the head of the region and the people who live there. the people must have a feel for what kind of person the potential leader is and if they trust him. john: you just referred to the system surviving after you.
people might say there are two ways in which russia is different to rule. one is a personal system and many people vote for you rather than a party. the other region is rushes still fairly lawless. whatever mastermind is still in sort, is russia still a hard place to govern? any country is: hard to govern, believe me. do you think the u.s. is easy to govern? is it easy to solve what seems to be simple tasks? president obama said in his third term he would close guantánamo but it is still open. of course he wants to close it, i'm certain he wants to. but things come up.
any country is hard to govern, even if they are a small country. it's not a question if the country as large or small, it's to what extent you feel responsible for it. russia is also hard to govern. russia is at a development stage of its political system and the restoration of market principles and the economy. it's a complicated process but interesting. russia is a large and great country. it has cultural particularities. why hide it? we all well know we had a monarchy and almost immediately, in communist period begin
the management system became even more harsh. it was only in the 1990's there was a completely different system of domestic policies. that is also difficult. you need the public to get used to it so they feel their own responsibility and going to vote, so they don't put their vote in populist decisions are reasoning or one group of candidates that is bashing another group. the public needs to analyze what is being proposed are the candidates. that goes for elections to parliament and presidential elections. in places where it's a clear presidential system of government, people generally tend to vote not so much for the party as for the candidate. it's like that almost everywhere. there's nothing unusual in our countries situation.
can i ask you a personal thing? you have managed to rule russia for 16 years. if you look at the chief executives and his nose people who tune in to bloomberg, very few of them last longer than five, six years. what advice would you give them to hang on to their jobs for longer? you shouldn'tn: claim to it, you should try to remain in the opposition at any cause. president of the russian federation for eight years and not violating the constitution, not changing it for myself, i did run for a third term. we can runution says for two consecutive terms. that is what i did. i was elected to two terms and i
was for four years a prime minister. according to the constitution, i had the right and after four years, i ran for the presidency and was elected and am working now. john: what is the reason for your success? length,t putin: as for one of the canadian prime ministers i think was in power for 16 years. the german chancellor, how long has she been in power? john: cannot 16 years. you have done longer than most. i haven't been: for 16 years, i have been for 12. that is not the main thing.
i don't know how there could be secrets here. i try to sense the mood of the people, their needs to solve problems, their priorities. that is what i go by. and i think that is the most important thing in a person's work, and the work the people of russia and trust to me. -- interest to me. -- entrust to me. you look around the world at the moment and there are so many countries becoming dynasties, the clintons and bushes and america. who you havedren successfully kept out of the public eye. would you ever want your daughters to go into politics? would you want them to have the same life as you?
i don't think i have the right to wish something for them. they are young but already adults. they should determine their futures themselves. on the whole to the extent i see thoseey have already made decisions. they are noble. they get joy from their work and that makes me very happy. john: one last question. when i flew here, i had a choice , one waslms to watch doctor zhivago, one was the godfather. which would you recommend to somebody trying to understand russia? john: we have a well-known phrase. russia cannot be understood with the mind alone. no ordinary yardstick and span for greatness.
in russia, one can only believe. russian culture is multifaceted and divers. if you want to understand, you books, listen to music. but the most important thing is you need to talk with people. leave me, when you start to meet ordinary people, you understand , even a of russia little naïve. traitere is one defining although it comes out especially stronger in us, striving for justice.
it is one of the dominating i think traits in russia, a russian person. thing that is characteristic for russian intelligence is the drive. we have millions of people. we of course want to be material well-off and i will do everything i can to let people live better so their quality of life improves. despite that, in the soul of the russian version, there is always a drive toward a moral value.
>> welcome to "the best of with all due respect." what does the libertarian ticket for president, trump campaign manager, and vladimir putin all have in common? interviews with all of them appeared on our program this weekend what a hillary clinton and donald trump have in common? unfavorably ratings with voters, they appeared back-to-back wednesday night with matt lauer had a commander-in-chief forum. mark